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How far can young people go in petting and still stay within the bounds of personal standards and social mores?
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Producer: Crawley Films
Audio/Visual: Sd, B&W
Keywords: Sex education; Teenagers; Social guidance
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: "...Cucumber, cucumber....gotta get my mind off the cucumber..."
The sexual tension at the end of this movie is so thick you could cut it with a knife.
And whenever I saw headlights go off and the sounds of chirping crickets became audible, I held my breath in suspense.
It's interesting to note how freaked out a young girl in those days could get once she's actually seen (maybe touched) the BF's "blessed sacrament" (I guess that's what happened). Mom was very cool calm and collected though. Judging from the way she talked, she obviously swung from a few of 'em in her day.
Brings to mind that right about the time this film was made, while I was snooping through the letters my much oldest brother (who was the same age as these kids) got from his friend's girlfriend when she was in "the Home" aka "Alma" I can attest to the fact that some of those chicks were already very experienced! Don't kid yourself. "Sausage Over the Sea?" Didn't take much imagination for a 9 yr old to figure that out.
Another thing, is it me or do those high schoolers look way more mature then they do today...even though today's kids are on average 3" taller and 40 pounds heavier? I don't think its just the casting either...hung around my brother's parties a lot; they really did look that way.
Excellent film with good acting. Very cutting edge for its day. It would have been more realistic though, if her nylons were in a tatter when she walked into the house at the beginning. From the looks of things I presume they were.
Subject: it is good i like it.
it is good i like it.
Subject: Actually suggests that we are now living in reactionary times.
I see this film rather differently than some of the other respondents:
Although this cautionary tale about coping with teenage hormones, produced in 1958, is unquestionably clunky and lacking in verisimilitude, what took me by surprise is that it is nowhere close to being as shrill, preachy, and condescending as its 2011 analogue would surely be. Whereas "How Much Affection" might strike the contemporary viewer as quaintly conservative and hopelessly naive, I would contend that these impressions derive mainly from its stylistic features. In substance, this film is probably less naive—and certainly less reactionary—than the kind of hysterical dogma that we're used to hearing today, in matters of 'sexual morality'.
Consider that, for all of the melodrama of the daughter's demeanor in the opening scene, her mother's response is actually quite reasonable and lacks entirely the kind of sanctimonious soundbite-moralizing that so plagues our culture today. The mother even assures her daughter unambiguously that sexual attraction is a good and natural thing. Most importantly, her advice to her daughter essentially puts the ball in her daughter's court. Instead of placing her daughter under surveillance and/or telling her that 'boys are evil and/or untrustworthy', she frames it as an issue of self-empowerment and self-formation.
Unlike 2011's self-styled morality police, who wish to somehow alter the world we live in by imposing their personal preferences upon it, the mother realizes that sexuality is part of life and accepts that the best thing she can do is offer her daughter her trust, her advice, and her support. In other words, the film's message to young adults is: sex is an adult phenomenon with adult ramifications, and if you're not careful, it can interfere with your ability to become the autonomous adult you want to be.
Maybe this all comes down to the difference between being conservative and being reactionary. I think by certain definitions, this film could safely be called 'conservative'. I think maybe what's changed between the 1958 version of conservatism and the 2001 version is that people who call themselves conservatives nowadays are in fact 'reactionaries'.
It's a big difference, it turns out.
Subject: ....Did'nt Your....
....Parents Tell You Not To Talk With Your Mouth Full, Cheryl..?..Slurp,Gulp..Ooh,Yes,..Arrg..! Yes Im.......Im..Nope, Just Had A Great Time At Drive-Ins..Fool..!
Before I even opened this link I knew I'd see another one of your crass, illiterate posts. You must be one very sexually frustrated - if not deviant - fellow.
Subject: How Much Hormones?
Mary wait! Oh mom, things seemed to happen, my panties got soggy, we nearly... *gasp* It was so CLOSE! Was is really Jeff's fault Mary? Mixed up are you? Well, mom understands. You see, she had soggy panties herself you know, like mother like daughter it would seem. Yes, mom admits being twisted, and no Mary, it's not wrong. It's not always easy to stop, but mom will help work out Mary's own best way of working things out in the back seat of that awesome '57 Dodge! But gee Mary, Jeff thinks you're swell, and.. and.. he would sure hate to ruin everything. Not just some stuff, EVERYTHING! I mean, look at Fred and Eileen. We know what happened to THEM, don't we?! Eileen looks like a manic depressive zombie, and Fred just loves the steel mill, things are just dandy! No Mary, don't wander away from the party to that dark corner, don't wear the school ring, you may end up like Eileen! What a swell party, c'mon, time to go "park", don't be a pill Jeff, what gives? Yes Jeff and Mary, take a lesson from Fred and Eileen, resist the soggy panties and ruining everything, and have a sandwich instead. Whew! So close!
How Much Affection is an intelligent, well made film for its time. Many of its points still hold.
Good acting, direction, and script.
Subject: Sandwiches and Sublimation
Mary and Jeff find themselves on the verge of going ÃÂtoo farÃÂ on a date. Mary confides in her mom, who her tells her to ÃÂslow downÃÂ so that she can exercise ÃÂjudgment rather than emotion.ÃÂ We donÃÂt see Jeff talking to his mom (or dad) about his emotions. As a cautionary tale, we meet Arlene and Fred, who had to get married when Arlene became pregnant. Maybe if Arlene had a mom like MaryÃÂs she could confide in she wouldnÃÂt have ended up pregnant. Fred wanted to be a lawyer, but now heÃÂs stuck working in a steel mill to support Arlene and the baby. ItÃÂs a good thing American cities still had manufacturing jobs that paid a living wage then.
In the last scene, Mary invites Jeff in for a sandwich after a party instead of going ÃÂto the point and park a whileÃÂ like the other kids. They dance together as MomÃÂs disembodied echo-y voice reminds Mary to ÃÂjust slow down.ÃÂ Jeff has an interior monologue and reminds himself that ÃÂwe have so much fun together, IÃÂd sure hate to ruin everything.ÃÂ Mary at least has her mom to talk things out with. Jeff is left on his own to handle his emotions. But he behaves maturely when he recognizes that he can't dump all the responsibiltiy for setting limits on Mary.
Film Fan -
Subject: Brave Old World
One powerhouse of a movie! Thoughtful. Intelligent.
What a difference 4 decades have made! Were this film made today, mother would have given Laurie a fresh supply of condoms (that is, if Laurie confided in Mom at all). The voiceover would describe how to apply a condom while showing Laurie and Jeff practicing on a cucumber in sex ed class.
People were more civil then. There were only two major STDs, both easily curable with antibiotics. Sex mostly meant pregnancy--not death by AIDS. The advice given in this movie--that you should keep your clothing on and zipped before marriage--was common for the time.
Advice worth resurrecting...
Subject: More Information regarding Crawley Films
First off, many thanks to Rick Prelinger for having the passion and energy to build this site. He is a true visionary and one of the nicest people you'll ever meet.
Mostly posting to indicate to some links.
Firstly there is a new website www.crawleyfilms.ca
and this page re several of the McGraw-Hill Crawley films on this website. http://home.ica.net/~paulc/canux/article/crawley.html
And finally, while the publisher did unfortunately acquire and then discard many of the printing negatives of these films, that wasn't the case for the majority of the Crawley films. Over 30,000 cans are stored at the National Archives of Canada, along with a large collection of production files and stills. Many of these can only be seen on site by appointment, but the production files regarding the McGraw Hill films do exist. They include internal company memos, production data, scripts and revisions, budgetary data, animation and titling requests, telegrams and mail between Ottawa and New York, the whole range of production data, inside the studio and its relationship with the sponsor. Its exceedly rare that such files have been saved anywhere for these types of films. For further information on how to make a research appointment see the archives.ca website.
And yes, I'm giving this title a five. One of my favourites.
Mr. Snout -
Subject: Early Marriage Looks Miserable
Entertaining and well made. My personal high-light was when they ran into the girl who had to leave school because she got pregnant and had to get married. (And, of course, she was the "artistic" girl.) While she glowingly describes married life we see visuals of the ugly truth: the deadbeat husband sleeping in as she tells them how much he enjoys his job, etc.
The ending is superb ... they come home to an empty house, each managing to suppress their lust with the help of voiceovers. If they just hold out, they'll have their happiness ... a world where he can come home and she can make him A SANDWICH!
Subject: knocked-up knock-out
Not so ironic after all. Though people today are not nearly so civil as those depicted...gonads are just as unruly then as now. Advice basically boils down to:
"Don't let your pants do the thinking"
Nothin' wrong with a message like that friends.
Plus some pretty good production values (let alone the moral values eh?)
Subject: And worst of all, we have no drawings!
This is the world some people want us to return to: where your choice was to have premarital sex, get pregnant and hate your life, or whether to control your RAGING HORMONES and practice total abstinence until you graduate from college.
"Mom" looks like Gollum.
Subject: Dating discomfort
Rather interestingly told short about Laurie and Jeff, two people who get hot and heavy one night and Laurie is SO ashamed of it. A great show at the beginning has Laurie fleeing Jeff's car. Quite effective. After Laurie has a heart to heart talk with her Mom, she takes it very very slow with Jeff for the time being. You can just sense the discomfort the two have for each other now, and one wonders where there relationship will wind up. Not exactly a bed of roses here. Reccomended!
Subject: A true classsic
This one has it all. Teen angst, questioning, guilt, approval.
And what inspired dialogue!
"Oh, mother... I don't know what to do. I'm so messed up!"
"Mother, is it wrong to feel warm and affecionate?"
"When you're able to slow down and say no, that's when you truly will become a woman."
"Imagine marrying someone who HAS to marry you..."
And plenty of implied pearls of wisdom, such as:
Teenage pregnancy means you can't become a lawyer.
Double dating: Reliable birth control? Maybe yes, maybe no... depends on who you are doubling with.
Excellent filmography, good lighting... a winner all around. A great offering from our favorite 30 year old teenagers.
One more note: The female lead does justice to the baleful gaze. She makes Dorothy LaMour look like a speed freak. Talk about long pauses;)